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I still have problems when seeing new questions (or close votes) to tell if they are on topic or not and what to do with them.

There where some discussions earlier but the results where not really conclusive.

  • Do we want to allow "layman" questions?

  • Do we want to allow homework questions?

    • Should we allow all kinds of homework questions or restrict them to some level (e.g., graduate level questions)?
    • In practice we only allow them if enough effort is shown, which is imho a good idea.
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Whilst not a complete solution to these issues, I think a useful thought experiment is to evaluate the potential answers rather than the question. If a hypothetical expert writes a good answer to the question then will that be a useful resource to future visitors with a sincere interest in learning about economics? Often, seemingly simple questions can prompt fairly deep and far-reaching economic analysis and I think such questions should be welcomed. Conversely, questions where the only novelty is some mundane technical detail (e.g. "solve this Cobb-Douglas problem with my particular parametrization") are much less likely to help us build up a useful reference resource.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree, but in many cases the question is so specific that it's hard to keep the answer general. On the other side, educating every OP about how to write a general and abstract question about the problem he's having is quite tiresome. $\endgroup$ – FooBar Jun 8 '15 at 20:35

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